Fact vs. fiction
The battle lines have been drawn, consultations have been had, and the verdict is in. The Saskatchewan Party will explore the possibility of introducing an opt-out clause for union dues. The intellectual giants behind this endeavour would have us believe that the union membership should not have their hard-earned money going toward taking a political stance on any given issue. To really fully appreciate this hypothesis, we will need to either suspend reality, get a time machine, or not let facts thwart our argument.
The Sask. Party brain trust has chosen the third option. For instance, The Supreme Court of Canada and the Rand Formula have already stated very clearly and repeatedly that everyone who enjoys the benefits of a union’s service must pay their fair share. By arguing that members should be able to opt-out, more than 70 years of serious litigation is simply deemed irrelevant. We also need to ignore the Great Depression, the political strife to protect the worker, and the numerous battles won to create the middle class – a class, by the way, that is vital to the continued growth of our economic system.
Another thing we will need to ignore is the democratic nature of unions. It turns out any member of the union is entitled to vote, run for an elected position, and participate in meetings of the executive. It is almost like democracy works, and the people that vote in unions elect their union officials. Presumably, the people of Saskatchewan carry out the same process to elect their own provincial government. Maybe we should still be able to live in Saskatchewan but opt-out of being governed by the people who won the election just because we didn’t vote for them.
Finally, we will need to ignore that the majority of union dues are set aside for to support workers and their families during strikes and lock outs. The funds that are put towards political campaigns, which are minimal in comparison to supporting workers during labour actions, are to defend changes that directly affect unions. For instance, defending changes to the Labour Act which not only effect unions, but non-unionized individuals,
Okay, so now that that’s out of the way, we can ignore it. Ignorance of those things gives us huge freedom. Now that the Sask. Party has legitimized ignoring facts and reason, there are a few more institutional fees for us to opt-out from. Tuition is the first thing to go. Why should our money go to the executive board members to represent the interests of the university to our government, foreign governments, or other lobby groups? As for not taking political stances on anything, we could get rid of the entire science department, since evolution stands in contrast to creationism, a debate that is political by nature. But why stop there? Liberal Arts and Business Administration need to be cut due to their political natures as well. Engineers will no longer need to pay fees, as big oil and potash companies, and other research and development firms qualify for political distinction, and thus we shouldn’t pay for them either. No longer will the people of Saskatachewan have to bear the oppressive yoke of paying for the services they use.
URSU fees are next. Why does our hard earned money go to support The Canadian Federation of Students, advocate for affordable student housing, and lower tuition? It does not matter that students use these services and that, as such, they have a political voice. We can even go a little further. Taxes! No longer, should we, the people, have to give the government our hard earned money so they can make irrational decisions such as this opt-out clause.
Finally, we could opt-out of the Carillon fee. Is there any other institution on this campus that carries the political stigma that it does? Oh crap … wait, forget I mentioned that last part! Do not worry, it is easy. All you have to do is pretend the facts do not exist. Shouldn’t be too difficult.